JV was okay yesterday. Not great, but not bad either. He only allowed 3 hits and 2 walks in 5 IPs, while surrendering 2 ER. His fastball velocity was okay, sitting at 92-94 and touching 97, and his command was decent enough for a first start. I am worried that he only got 5 swings and misses, this could be a harbinger of things to come.
Anyway, I said I’d be pleased with 6 IP and 3 ER, so 5 IP and 2 ER ain’t bad. The bullpen, however, was awful. Again. This is becoming an alarming trend, one that gave us nightmares late last season and that was outright terrifying in the playoffs. The pen is posting a 5.47 June ERA, and the Tigers are now 2-11 in their last 13 games decided by 2 runs or fewer. Much of this can be blamed on Ausmus. This smart guy on Bless You Boys points out that other than handing the ball to Soria in the 9th from time to time. Ausmus isn’t doing so hot with the pen. The gist of it is that Ausmus’ bullpen management WPA is below average, and if you remove Soria it’s flat out awful. Let’s all say it together now “he’s learning.”
Anyway, Tigers go up against Indians ace Corey Kluber in today’s rubber match. Don’t let Kluber’s 3-7 record fool you, he’s only getting 2.46 runs behind him per game. He’s actually throwing slightly more strikes, striking out more, and walking less than he did when he won the Cy Young award last year. His BABIP currently sits at .356, the highest for his career. So I hate to break it to you, but he’s likely pitching even better than he did last year. Though the Tigers’ big three do rake against the guy (see below).
The Indians are calling up highly touted SS prospect Francisco Lindor, but he’s not in the starting lineup.
Lineup (career numbers off Corey Kluber):
- Anthony Gose, CF (1-for-3, HR, 2 K’s)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (4-for-18, triple, walk, 4 K’s)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (19-for-33, 2 doubles, 4 HR, 2 walks, 6 K’s)
- Yoenis Cespedes, LF (4-for-10, double, HR, 2 K’s)
- J.D. Martinez, RF (5-for-12, double, HR, K)
- Tyler Collins, DH
- Bryan Holaday, C (2-for-6, 3 K’s)
- Andrew Romine, 3B (1-for-4, walk, 2 K’s)
- Jose Iglesias, SS (0-for-4)